Election Day Open Thread

Did you vote today or early? What's going on out there?  

I expect some reports on this page from some the students who worked on the site this semester and hopefully other readers will chime in as you usually do.  This year, we're also using Twitter to track election goings on, so I'm embedding a feed of the latest tweets tagged #OCNCelect (per last week's survey).





Well, at 6:55 AM I was only the 3rd voter at Cedar Falls.  In the 20 years I've been voting in CH I don't recall it ever being this slow at my precinct, even for a primary.  Of course, given that we only had 16% turnout for the last general election, why am I surprised?

I was #124 at Cedar Falls just before 2pm with a couple of people behind me. Also, there was someone being helped with curbside voting.

It was the only Saturday for early voting (the OC BOE did a poor job this year) and there were few people around 11am.

OC BOE did a great job with early voting.  I think only voting on the one Saturday, had to do with budget cuts.

Perhaps the reason for early voting on the one Saturday was due to budget cuts.

John Rees

When I left around 9:30 only 45-50 had voted there so far .

The library was at 126 when I stopped by a little before noon. 77 voted early there. Here in Northside we're at 22, the same number that voted early. I've heard the Hillsborough precincts are doing better.

I was voter 177 at 2:00.   I believe I overheard  a precinct official  say that represents 9% turnout so far.  

I was Voter # 78 at Carrboro Elementary around 12:30.  No idea what % that indicates, but it looked pretty slow, especially considering it was around lunchtime...

Steve and I cast our ballots at 2:15 and were the 201st and 202nd voters, respectively. It's dead slow out there. Hope a lot of people voted early!

was for early voting at the Planetarium?  I was just wondering if they broke 1000 or not?

...was 1199, if I recall correctly.

seems to be doing alright, at least for early voting according to WRAL.http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/7527861/

Early voting was extremely high in Wake County, Poucher said, so she's
hoping for a good overall turnout.More than 7,000 Wake County
people voted early, compared to 700 in 2006, the most recent off-year
election without a presidential or gubernatorial race

The final numbers showed more folks early voting in Hillsborough than in CH. First time that has happen. The trend is rural voters turnout more than city voters and I expect that will be the case when the numbers are released.

Rural/northern Orange voters had School Board and the District 2 seat to vote on, while the rest of us only had the Sheriff and At-Large Commissioner seat, so I think they had a lot more motivation to vote in this even year.

affected everyone.

BS if you look back at all election in the past 20 years then the facts will support me.As for your use of the word "northern Orange" I do not live in Northern Orange but I do live in rural orange. I live in southwest Orange aka the red headed stepchild of this county or the dumping grounds of Chapel Hill/Carrboro/UNCs' unwanted projects.


Which is exactly why I said "Rural/northern Orange."  I spent a lot of time looking at precincts last night, so I'm well aware that District 2 goes all the way to Chatham County line.

extends well below I-85 to the west of Carrborro.

You and I am sure many others missed the point. Northern Orange is insulting to those who live outside of Northern Orange. Its just political incorrect. When someone uses the word rural Orange then they are talking about areas outside of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough.

If you are determined to see insults, there is every guarantee that you'll believe you've found them, regardless of the speaker's intent.  There is nothing inherently insulting about the term "northern Orange," any more than there is about the term "southwest Orange," even if the terms may be applied inaccurately in context.  Ruby's intent to include both northern and rural areas of the county was clear enough  - which is the point (and notice she did not make any possibly politically incorrect references to "red headed stepchildren").

So now you are Ruby's mouth piece? Northern Orange is an old outdated and political incorrect description of RURAL residents. For years I and many others have corrected people including elected officials. The "red headed stepchild" is a description of the treatment that Bingham Township has received from governmental bodies for years, when unwanted projects are discussed or sited.

I was voter 155 out of 2,600+ at 5:45 pm. Sad.

OWASA voter 130 at 6:37 pm.

Which, by the way, is not far off from the 2006 primary turnout at OWASA. Consistently low.

I was surprised after finishing the ballot to realize that I didn't vote for a single white male.  That might just be the first time that's happened. 

Why someone would put a District 2 sign up in one of the southernmost precincts in the county?  Is that race contested in Nov? 

has at-large voting for all candidates in the fall.

... why are they putting up signs in District 1 now?  My polling place had a Greg Andrews sign today, despite the fact that he won't be on the ballot here for five months.  Even within his district, it surprises me he's putting up signs right now.  I doubt they'll stand the test of time (or at least weather and lawnmowers).

Maybe he saw it as a chance to create some name recognition with some likely November voters.

I'd say the cause is probably overzealous campaign voluntees, who may not know the rules about when signs are allowed or whee the districts are.

At Lion's Club at 6:30 PM.

Constructive criticism...stop using uhhhm uh uhm uhh all the time.  I counted 23 of thes uhhms within 2 minutes.  It got to a point where I was (UHM) bracing myself (UHM) for your UHHMS.

I could quibble with some of your opinions, but I won't do that tonight. Overall, I really thought you did a good job summing up and commenting.  I appreciated the personal, local perspective. 

I've got some good news.  Do you know all those missing people that weren't at the polls today or at early voting?  Well I've found them.  I found them when I went to work today.  My workplace was teeming with people.  Incredibly, it's like that every weekday where I work. These people have a daily routine.  Every weekday they wake up, do whatever they need to do, go to work, and then work for a long time with a lunch break in the middle.  By the end of the workday they're tired since they've been going for about 10 hours straight and also they're hungry again since they haven't eaten since lunch.  Consequently, their first impulse after they get off of work is to eat and/or rest.  Considering the fact that the places in our society that provide food, shelter and cloting insist on money in exchange for those items, it seems reasonable that these working people value their paid work above leaving their work to vote.  I mean, having a policy enacted because you didn't vote against it is never as bad as losing your job because you left it to vote for a policy.  Right? Sarcasm aside, it is much easier to institue a system that makes it convenient for people to vote than it is to actually get large numbers of people to vote on a weekday.  Some people here are expressing disappointment in the voterr turnout.  Your disappointment is misplaced.  If it weren't a major inconvenience to vote then you'd have a point.  But it is a major inconvenience to vote. Lots of you said you voted at various times during the day today.  What the heck kind of jobs do you have, if any, to be able to do that?  Because I have a job at UNC that affords me more flexibility than most jobs and yet it would be a major inconvenience for me to vote today or any other weekday.  We don't have to bring in the harvest on Saturday and then take Sunday off lest God strike us dead otherwise and then use Monday to travel to the voting place and then vote on Tuesday anymore.  The 1850s are past.

...interesting.  Voting is a matter of interest and priorities.  If it is important enough to do, people WILL find a way to get it done - either before work (beginning at 6:30 a.m.), after work (until 7:30 p.m.), on a Saturday or by mail.  Years ago, the only way to vote was on Election Day - now, there is a 2-week window in which people can do this, but still make excuses.  How much more convenient can it be? 

The early voting weekday hours were 8-5 so people could've voted on at 6:30 am or 7:30 pm only on election day.  And by mail?  I, and most other people, woudln't have any idea how to do that.  Yes, I could figure it out but why is the default, if you want to vote you have to work for it?  If, that is, we actually want people to vote. If people think weekdays during business hours is so convenient then how about we move other things we do on evenings and weekend to business hours on weekdays.  How would  people respond if someone suggested we, say, move the Farmers Market to 8-5 every Wednesday?  They'd reject it out of hand.  Look at it this way.  Pretend there were no voting hours right now and there never had been any and we were going to pick some.  What hours would we choose?  Would we choose to have 117 hours to vote during M-F 8-5 and only 8 outside that like we did during this past election?  Or 121 on weekdays and 4 on weekends like this past election?  If anyone suggested that then it too would be rejected out of hand.  But because the custom of voting on Tuesday was adopted 150 years ago or whenever to accomodate the agricultural society we were at that time, we still pay homage to it today.It's just senseless.  We should be smart instead of just continuing on autopilot. We should change when it is smart to change and stay the same when it is smart to stay the same.  Instead, too often we change for changes sake or continue tradition for traditions sake.

In Wake County the hours for all early voting locations weekdays (other than the Board of Elections office) have been either 10-7 or 11-7 for four or five years.  It takes working with the venues, but we generally have 10-15 locations for general elections and 5-7 for primaries. It takes some working with the site management, but it's not rocket science.  I heard a few years back that Morehead does not have evening hours because the facility did not want it -- yet if there were evening hours at Morehead then off campus folks would find parking a lot easier as well.  Someone needs to get ahead of the curve on this one -- same with Carrboro Town Hall.

until 10 PM on election day. Don't know if they have early voting. I believe that Oregon does all elections by mail so their elections last a couple of weeks.

They aslo apparently, from what I heard on the BBC news hour today, turn away people who have been in line for hours on end as soon as the clock hits 10pm.  They said it wasn't just a few people, but in some cases hundreds of people at a single polling site if I'm remembering correctly.

...if we didn't have early voting.  Those hard workers could have voted any day from April 15 - May 1st OR yesterday.  Don't these people get a lunch break?  What kind of convenience would it take to get them to the polls? 

or by mail





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No, they couldn't have voted any day from April 15 to May 1.  They
couldn't vote Sat, Apr 17, Sun Apr 18, Sat Apr 24 or Sun, Apr 25, which happens
to be the days they'd have the time to vote.  There was no early voting
outside the 8-5 M-F time frame except for 9-1 this past Saturday. Yes, people at work get a lunch break but what they don't get is a
voting break.  Are people suppsed to have to choose between eating and
voting?  I think that qualifies as inconvenient.

 And if you were an employer would you appreciate your employee
dragging ass in the afternoon because rather than eating during the time you
gave them to eat they ran errands instead?

 People shouldn't have to choose between eating and voting.  It's
not the peoples' job to go to extremes to vote, rather it's the governments job
to make it convenient for them.  If a restaurant or store did so little to
appeal to its customers they'd go out of business.  I forgot to log in again before I typed this so I pasted it to Word and then pasted it back after I logged in so that may cause all those funny symbols at the start.  I hope not.  We'll see...

All I hear is criticism about the hours and days that the early voting was not available.  Has it occured to anyone that these workers may have dedicated church activities on Sundays?  And like you, Saturday is the only day they do not work as well.How many of you who are full of criticism are helping the BOE by actually working at one of these early voting sites?  I think I'll call and see if they need help. 

If Saturday is the only day they don't work then how were they available to keep the polls open 9-5 on about 13 weekdays leading up to election day?   You're allowed to volunteer to work these voting sites?  Okay.  In the last election the only Saturday early voting times was 9-1 on one Saturday.  I hereby volunteer to work 1-5 on all three Saturdays immediately proceeding election day so we can have three 9-5 early voting Saturdays.  Of course, to pull that off, however many other people are necessary to run the polls from 1-5 on Saturdays would have to voluntter too.  I suggest we ask the people currently running the polls on 13 weekdays to switch.  For every person that votes at the polling place, the BOE has personal access to someone that is interested enough to take the time and effort to vote.  They already give out those smug, pointless, probably relatively expensive "I Voted" stickers.  How about also giving out a slip of paper that says "If you would like to assist the Board of Election in conducting elections, manning polls, etc, Call X, E-Mail Y or Visit address Z?"  It would be easy and very cheap and you'd reach people obviously interested in the process, since they took the time to vote.  I would have volunteered by now had I gotten one of those when I voted.  Instead I had no idea volunteering was even an option.  I thought the BOE just did their stuff on their own.

This is a great idea and I'll volunteer too. I don't know if it will change the turnout, but I do think it is would be respectful of those who work set hours.We could also have more voting places to be more convenient. In other states I have voted in a neighbor's living room that was set up properly as a voting site.

And you do know that these election workers are not "volunteers" - they are paid and small amount.More Voting Places? - probably not.  It's all regulated by State Statutes (must be located within existing lines, must be ADA compliant, etc.)  I have a feeling, someone's living room won't be a polling place.



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